Forum Kamdar, MD, FACC, an assistant professor in the Department of Medicine’s Cardiovascular Division at the University of Minnesota Medical School, is among 17 physician scientists in the country to be awarded the prestigious 2020 Clinical Scientist Development Award from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (DDCF). This three-year award, worth $495,000, funds the research of promising early career physician scientists.

Dr. Kamdar was recognized for her innovative project entitled, “Unlocking the Role of Cardiac Calcium Pump Dysregulation in Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Cardiomyopathy.” She will utilize a patient-derived, stem cell-based cardiomyocyte model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) combined with calcium pump biosensors to understand how calcium transport is dysregulated in this devastating disease. This research builds off of previous studies she has led on DMD.

“I am honored to receive this award, which will be critical for me to become an independent clinician scientist,” Dr. Kamdar said. “My ultimate goal is to improve the lives of patients with DMD cardiomyopathy through both research and patient care.”

A release from the DDCF states that, when faced with the competing demands of both caring for patients and conducting research, physician scientists often experience a more challenging transition to an independent research career compared to other researchers. The award helps stimulate their research, and since 1998, DDCF has awarded more than $152 million.

“We are thrilled to announce our support of these physician scientists and their important medical research at a crucial stage in their careers,” said Betsy Myers, program director for medical research at DDCF. “The insights they bring to clinical research from their direct interactions with patients are indispensable to the field. We look forward to seeing both how their careers develop over the long term and their research contributes to improvements in human health.”